New home ideas - Light is right
Light was right to help this Queensland home capture the best of the views.
For Sunshine Coast designer Lee Foster, his love of lightweight construction goes back further than most.
“I grew up in Brisbane in a brick veneer house, and hated it from as long as I could remember!” says the co-founder of design firm Aboda homes.
While Foster has a personal passion for lightweight homes, he says the style also suits the beachside vibe of the Sunshine Coast and it’s the views that were key on this east-west block at Queensland’s Peregian Beach.
“We have larger sites which mean larger glazed areas to let in views and light,” he says.
“It looks onto Noosa National Park to the west, so the clients wanted a home that took advantage of the views,” says Foster.
A long search
The clients chose Aboda after searching for five years for the right design for their sloping block.
“It’s not a huge home – about 250 sq m in total – but it is four bedrooms and two bathrooms with a nice open plan feel. Generally our approach is that the bulk of the orientation of a home is to the north, and we screen from the west. [But] in this instance the western view meant we modified the home to capture the best of the views,” he says.
By working natural breezeways into the design, the owners didn’t need to install air conditioning.
“We always have axes in both directions through our homes so you can get breezes through, with windows at each end,” he says.
Foster finds the freedom of designing in lightweight pays off for occupants.
“You can have glazing anywhere you want – it connects you to the light, and the landscape, which is all difficult in a heavy home. It also allows you to get really nice volumes of space – the living area [here] isn’t enormous but the combination of light and windows have that effect,” he says.
Simple finishes were chosen for their sustainability credentials and ease of maintenance.
“We predominantly used a James Hardie cladding and Linea weatherboard
– these are robust materials with good resistance to termites, and we get good durability on the finishes,” he says.
For external floors, Foster went with Modwood, a sustainable flooring made of sawdust and recycled milk bottles.
“It looks good, has no visible fixings in terms of nails or screws, and it doesn’t need to be finished. In this location the weather is so harsh you need to refinish external fittings every six to twelve months, so we chose products that were durable,” he says.
Sustainable but affordable
With a cost of around $1300 per square metre, Foster believes they’ve struck the right note between sustainability and affordability. By locating the property low on this sloping block, they’ve also managed to create a home that is extremely private.
“The backyard is all remnant natives, so we’ve moved the pool to the front. The client now has 180 degree views of the national park and a house that is very private from the street,” he says.
Name of designers:
Aboda Design Group (Scott Falconer and Lee Foster)
Name of builder:
Adam Dew Ecobuild
Paul Smith Images